It was yet another high-flying and battering affair in the NFL this weekend. It was a week when stout defenses (San Francisco and Houston) got taken behind the woodshed and got beat by superior offenses.
You’ll read all about the rest of the week here, as I dissect and analyze the weekend that was. So, without further ado, here is the Weekend 411 from FP911.
Stud of the week
Aaron Rodgers: Green Bay Packers
That’s more like it.
Rodgers showed exactly why he was top-5 draft pick with a stellar performance on Sunday night. Rodgers was crisp all night, passing for 338 yards and six touchdowns. And the road only gets easier for Rodgers and the Packers as they get set to take on the Rams, Jaguars, Cardinals and the Lions in their next four games.
Other studs of note: Ben Roethlisberger, Ray Rice, Dez Bryant, Michael Vick, Matt Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Jeremy Maclin, Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, Josh Gordon, Shonn Greene, Josh Freeman, Mike Williams, Vincent Jackson, Carson Palmer, Darren McFadden, Denarius Moore, Tom Brady, Wes Welker, C.J. Spiller, Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Ponder, Percy Harvin, Ahmad Bradshaw, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Peyton Manning, Eric Decker and Antonio Gates.
Dud of the week
Brian Hartline: Miami Dolphins
The Rams defense is a much-improved unit and one not to take lightly, but a player of Hartline’s caliber should not be shut out. Hartline did not even record a single target. Just a couple of weeks ago, Hartline was the toast of the town. Now he’s the “Dud of the Week” and nothing better than a flex play these days.
Other duds of note: Antonio Brown, Miles Austin, Vick Ballard, Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe, Michael Turner, Stevan Ridley, Marshawn Lynch, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andre Roberts, Alex Smith, Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree and Matt Schaub.
Rookies of impact
Ryan Tannehill: Miami Dolphins
Tannehill calmly led his Dolphins to victory by being smart and efficient, throwing 21-29 for 185 yards and two touchdowns with no picks.
Daryl Richardson: St. Louis Rams
Richardson once again outshined Steven Jackson in the Ram’s running game. Richardson had 76 yards on 11 carries to Jackson’s 52 yards on 12 carries. Is the end near for Jackson?
Chris Givens: St. Louis Rams
Givens is the deep threat on the Rams and he looked good hauling in three catches for 85 yards.
Brandon Weeden: Cleveland Browns
The Browns finally secured their first victory of the year by riding Weeden’s hot hand. On a day Trent Richardson got hurt, Weeden stepped up and threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns.
Doug Martin: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs demolished the Chiefs on Sunday and Martin’s versatility in the backfield (76 yards rushing and 55 yards receiving) was a key factor in the game.
Russell Wilson: Seattle Seahawks
On this day Wilson outplayed Tom Brady, as Wilson threw for 293 yards and three TD’s (0 picks) and led Seattle to the upset win. So far this year, Wilson has beaten Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers and Brady at home.
Robert Griffin III: Washington Redskins
So much for the fear of post-concussion symptoms! RGIII looked fresher than ever, as he tore it up in the air (182 passing yards and a touchdown) and on the ground (138 rushing yards and two touchdowns).
Injuries of impact
Rashard Mendenhall/Isaac Redman: Pittsburgh Steelers
Both Steelers’ running backs got dinged up and had to leave Thursday’s game. Mendenhall suffered an Achilles injury and he is making progress to play this week. Redman has a sprained ankle and he too may be probable for Sunday.
DeMarco Murray: Dallas Cowboys
Early reports have Murray suffering from ligament damage (not broke) in his foot. Murray is walking in a boot with crutches. This will probably sideline Murray this week and perhaps more.
Trent Richardson: Cleveland Browns
The uber-talented rookie had to leave Sunday’s game with a rib injury. However, there is a good chance that Richardson could return this week, as he is listed as day-to-day.
Brandon Lloyd: New England Patriots
In the fourth quarter of the Patriots/Seahawks game Lloyd had to leave the game with a shoulder injury. The shoulder is bruised and we’ll have to wait out this injury to see how serious it is.
Breakouts of note (waiver wire material)
Felix Jones: Dallas Cowboys
DeMarco Murray’s injury looks like it could sideline him a few weeks and Jones would be the instant benefactor. Jones has been useful before in fantasy circles, and he showed on Sunday (92 yards rushing and a touchdown) he has some gas left in his tank.
Brandon Gibson: St. Louis Rams
Someone has to fill the gap left by the void of Danny Amendola. Gibson stepped up and did his part by recording seven catches for 91 yards.
Montario Hardesty: Cleveland Browns
If Trent Richardson is out for an extended period, Hardesty is a guy you may want to take a flier on. Hardesty filled in admirably for Richardson, rushing for 56 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.
Cedric Peerman: Cincinnati Bengals
Peerman was the latest Bengal to come out of nowhere and produce a solid stat line. Peerman was heavily involved in the passing game, as he made seven catches for 76 yards. However, be cautious as this performance seems fluky.BenJarvus Green-Ellis is the unquestioned lead back in Cincinnati.
Derek Hagan: Oakland Raiders
Much like Peerman, Hagan is a journeyman who just happened to look good for one game. Hagan was good for 85 yards on four catches. But with Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey ahead of him on the depth chart, expect more erratic performances from Hagan.
Doug Baldwin: Seattle Seahawks
Baldwin has always possessed a great deal of talent, but has not put it all together. Baldwin (two catches for 74 yards and a touchdown on Sunday) has a ways to go before you can start trusting him.
William Powell: Arizona Cardinals
Powell sure did look like the better running back of choice to replace Ryan Williams in Arizona. Powell rushed for 70 yards on 13 carries while LaRod Stephens-Howling was a total non-factor, rushing for 22 yards on 11 carries.
Michael Jenkins: Minnesota Vikings
Jenkins made the most of his opportunities on Sunday, as he recorded six catches for 67 yards and a touchdown. Just don’t expect any consistency with him.
Other interesting tidbits to chew on: Whatever your opinion is of Ray Lewis, it’s a shame that his season has now ended…Who foresaw Shonn Greene’s breakout performance? That said, start all running back that oppose Indianapolis…How about them 35 unanswered points by the Broncos after San Diego went ahead 24-0? Really San Diego? I’d be very worried if I was Norv Turner…
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